African american men's perspectives on promoting physical activity: We're not that difficult to figure out!

Daniela B. Friedman, Steven P. Hooker, Sara Wilcox, Ericka L. Burroughs, Carol E. Rheaume

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


African American men report poorer health than do White men and have significantly greater odds for developing chronic diseases partly because of limited physical activity. Understanding how to encourage healthy behaviors among African American men will be critical in the development of effective physical activity messages and programs. Guided by principles of cultural sensitivity and social marketing, this research examined middle-aged and older African American men's recommended strategies for promoting physical activity to African American men of their age. The authors report results from 49 interviews conducted with middle-aged (45-64 years) and older (65-84 years) African American men in South Carolina. Four groups of African American men were recruited: middle-aged active men (n=17), middle-aged inactive men (n=12), older active men (n=10), older inactive men (n=10). Themes related to marketing and recruitment strategies, message content, and spokesperson characteristics emerged and differed by age and physical activity level. Recommended marketing strategies included word of mouth; use of mass media; partnering with churches, businesses, and fraternities; strategic placement of messages; culturally appropriate message framing; and careful attention to selection of program spokespersons. Findings will help in the marketing, design, implementation, and evaluation of culturally appropriate interventions to encourage physical activity among middle-aged and older African American men in the South.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1151-1170
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 27 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences

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